Los Angeles Filmforum Presents Experimental India: Films from the Indian Avant-Garde

Monday, June 26 at 8 PM

Filmmakers/curators Shai Heredia & Shumona Goel in person!

Los Angeles Filmforum is thrilled to present two distinct programs of historical and contemporary experimental Indian films curated by filmmakers Shai Heredia and Shumona Goel who will be in person from India for this unique and rare screening.

Despite a long and internationally celebrated cinematic tradition, the Indian avant-garde is much lesser known to American audiences than the many canonical works of Indian feature filmmaking. With generous support from the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, Filmforum has invited Shai Heredia and Shumona Goel to present their own acclaimed works along with a specially curated selection of short films that will attempt an abbreviated survey of India’s experimental cinematic landscape. Their joint visit to Los Angeles to share and discuss their and other artists’ work is an incredibly rare opportunity not to be missed!

Over two different programs, a necessarily fractional but illuminating view of the extensive and eclectic Indian avant-garde will be traced by our guests, spanning 1960s experimental classics by artists such as Pramod Pati to contemporary artists working today.


PROGRAM 1 (78min.):

ABID by Pramod Pati
1972, color, sound, 5min.
“Unlike a cartoon film, which is a rapidly moving series of photographed drawings, in pixilation, a moving object is shot frame by frame, and then through clever editing made to appear in motion. By its nature, this movement is agile, energetic and unpredictable just like the pop art movement.” [Pramod Pati]

1993, color, sound, 38min.
A personal film about a city that may only exist in a film or on tv; a film about various dreams about Calcutta. It starts with a variation on the first image of Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Apocalypse Now’ and takes the spectator along through a strange file full of ideas and images of the city. Some images come from the North – Hollywood films and European television. The commentators are a local, traditional painter and an Afro-American video-artist from New York.

1972, b/w, sound, 20min.
“This Bit Of That India” is a layered refection on youth culture, diversity, progress, education, technology and sexuality. The film juxtaposes documentary moments that celebrate individual freedom with a theatrical performance of Federico Garcia Lorca’s “The House of Bernarda Alba”, as a metaphor for repression and conformity.

I AM MICRO by Shumona Goel & Shai Heredia
2012, b/w, sound, 15min.
Shot in the passages of an abandoned optics factory and centered on the activities of a low-budget film crew, I Am Micro is an experimental essay about filmmaking, the medium of film, and the spirit of making independent cinema.

Program and notes by Shumona Goel & Shai Heredia. All films showing digitally.

“Our complex history of experimenting with film has created a fragmented and yet influential filmmaking culture, with its own traditions and modernity. This program will present some rarely seen films by artists who have lived and worked on the periphery of the Indian film industry.” —Shai Heredia and Shumona Goel.

What: Experimenta India: Films from the Indian Avant-Garde Program 1
Artists/curators Shai Heredia & Shumona Goel in person!
When: Monday, June 26, 2017, 8:00pm
Where: Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N Alvarado St, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Tickets: $10 general, $6 students/seniors; free for Filmforum members. Available by credit card in advance from Brown Paper Tickets at or at the door.

Shai Heredia is a filmmaker and curator. She studied Sociology at St. Xaviers College Mumbai and Documentary Filmmaking at Goldsmiths College, London. In 2003, she founded Experimenta, the international festival for experimental cinema in India. Heredia has curated experimental film programs at film festivals and art venues worldwide, including the Berlinale, Germany and the Tate Modern, London. Her film I Am Micro (2012) co-directed with Shumona Goel, has screened worldwide, and received critical acclaim. The film has also won prestigious awards, including a National Award from the Government of India. Heredia & Goel’s latest film An Old Dog’s Diary (2015), won the Best Short Film award at the BFI London International Film Festival. Heredia has been a grant maker with the India Foundation for the Arts (2006-2011), and also teaches at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology. She lives and works in Bangalore where she runs Experimenta India.

Shumona Goel is a Bombay based experimental filmmaker and installation artist. She studied filmmaking at Bard College (USA), sociology at Jawaharlal Nehru University (India), and anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (UK). Goel works with 16mm film, slide projections, and VHS to produce low budget, personal films and film installations. Her work has been exhibited in many film festivals and museums such as the Tate Modern, Forum Expanded (Berlin International Film Festival), and the Guggenheim Museum. Her films co-directed with Shai Heredia, I Am Micro (2012) and An Old Dog’s Diary (2015), have won awards and received international acclaim.

This program is supported by the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts; the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

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